CSR: EU agenda

What typically a freshman of a business school has been told since his first day of university is how a successful strategy is the one that maximizes the company's profit because the increase in shareholders' welfare is the only goal that matters. This seems to make sense but is not the whole story; in performing its core activities a firm should comply with ethical standards and be aware of the effect of its externalities on the environment and society, that is, its corporate social responsibility. The CSR is the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society and outlines what an enterprise should do to meet that responsibility and improve positive impacts.
For its importance, the European Commission on CSR is encouraging companies to have a CSR model in place to integrate social, environmental, ethical, human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close cooperation with their stakeholders. So to recognize social responsibility and sustainability as an integral part of the business model, to recognize human rights and ethical considerations in addition to social, environmental and consumer considerations because the main goal is to maximize the creation of shared value, that is to provide a good return on investment for shareholders and benefits for other stakeholders. 
What the Commission has scheduled in its agenda is:
-Enhancing the visibility of CSR by creating a European award
-Improving self- and co-regulation processes 
-Improving and tracking levels of trust in business by conducting surveys
-Enhancing market reward for CSR
-Further integrating CSR into education, training and research: the Commission sponsored for example a research project on impact measurement and performance analysis of CSR. 
-Emphasizing the importance of national and sub-national CSR policies
-Better aligning European and global approaches to CSR: for instance by implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

From 04/29/14 it is possible to give a feedback on European CSR 2011-2014 policy at this link. The data collected will be reported during the plenary meeting of the multi-stakeholders forum on CSR planned for November 2014 that will impact on the elaboration of a new CSR strategy after 2014.

Wu Fei Fei